Fabrizio Caramagna curated “The New Italian Aphorists” in 2013, selected content from material submitted to three (2008,2010, and 2012) “Aphorism International Prize – Torino in Sintesi” Festivals. He also included a selection of his own aphorisms; I have included five below that I thought entrepreneurs would find useful.
Aphorism: implosion of words, explosion of sense.
It’s a detonation of freeze dried flakes of instant karma.
“Every day the invisible challenges the imagination to a duel.”
I originally came across this insight in Drew Byrne’s “Aphorisms for Modern Living” and collected it in my “Quotes for Entrepreneurs–July 2015” because it struck me as one of the key challenges that entrepreneurs face in exercising their imagination: can they see what’s missing and what’s beneath the surface. Another aspect, as Jeanette Winterson reminds us in–“Like all familiar objects, it had become invisible”–is that invisibility is as much a matter of perception and paradigms that filter our observations.
This aphorism led me to learn more about Fabrizio Caramagna and ultimately buy the collection he curated to read it.
“Crickets that talk to each other at night without seeing each other.
Men who see each other but don’t talk.”
So much of Email communication feels like crickets conversing in the dark.
“Sentences that take their first footsteps like children and then fall down, and
sentences that cross time and space like migratory birds.”
Most writing is more like the former than latter, I am always surprised when someone picks up a phrase of mine from an article or a talk and tweets it and then it gets retweeted. I think this is the challenge that entrepreneurs face when describing a new product, if their words don’t carry then few will learn of it. But the words that most often carry don’t come from the founders but from early customers who are harbingers for an early category of customer.
The temptation is to come up with a description that’s very clever, or very detailed, or that everyone on the team has contributed to and blessed. It’s harder to listen and extract what will resonate from an early customer description but it’s more often what helps you migrate to new markets.
“The sublime ambition: to transmute gold into time or time into gold.”
Early on you have much more time than money and often have to manage the work/work balance of a day job or freelancing or consulting to keep the lights on while you are building or refining your product. Later on you would like to be able to buy more time to enjoy life.
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- “The New Italian Aphorists” review by James Geary